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Man says he owns sandbar, part of which is now underwater

Shelly Island is no longer an island. (Photo: NASA's Operational Land Imager (OLI) on the Landsat 8 satellite, acquired July 7, 2017)

BUXTON, N.C. (AP) - A Virginia man says he still owns a North Carolina sandbar, even if part of it may now be underwater.

The Charlotte Observer reports that Ken Barlow filed a deed to "Shelly Island" in the Outer Banks in August, although the ownership was disputed by the Cape Hatteras National Seashore. Before the matter could be resolved, NASA says three hurricanes split the land, causing half to connect to the mainland and the rest to wash away.

Barlow is quoted by the newspaper as saying the mile-long (1.5-kilometer-long) piece of land is still there, and that he owns it.

Officials have said that if the sandbar connected to the mainland, it would then belong to the National Park Service.

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